2011 Guigal Chateau d'Ampuis
by JJ Buckley Fine Wines
On Sale $86.94 (reg. $134.94/ Online Avg. $145)
"Guigal continue to keep their estate at the top of the hierarchy in the Rhône Valley." - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A slam dunk for syrah purists and serious Rhone collectors alike, this double 94-point Guigal Cote Rotie is not something that is usually paired with a sub-$100 price-tag (let alone, sub $90!). Referred to by Parker himself as "the modern world's greatest testament to a family-run winery," Guigal is synonymous with only the highest echelon of Northern Rhone syrah.
Writing for Parker's Wine Advocate, Jeb Dunnuck has this to say about Chateau d'Ampuis: While the single vineyard releases get all the buzz, this is isn't far behind in quality, especially in recent vintages, and can represent an incredible value.
The Guigal Family purchased the historic 'Chateau d'Ampuis' in 1995. The vineyards used for this bottling come from the "Upper Castle" which is located in the La Garde, highly noted as one of the top sub-districts for the appellation. The final cuvee is rigorously selected from some of the finest plots in all of Cote Rotie - Pavillon Rouge, La Garde, Le Clos, La Grand Plante, La Pommiere and Le Moulin.
A small percentage of Viognier is co-fermented with the old-vine Syrah to uplift the intensely beautiful aromas. The hallmark of 'Ampuis' is this seductive perfume, a melánge of exotic spices and precise elegance that cuts through the massive concentration of dark berry fruit. As the Wine Enthusiast notes, this is "the essence of the appellation", with its juicy fruit, bacon fat, garrigue and peppery spice - textbook northern Rhone through and through.
Compared to Guigal's famous "La-La" wines, this is an incredible bargain (2011's 'La Landonne', 'La Mouline' and 'La Turque' will each set you back $300+ on average). With terrific critical acclaim and an excellent price to match, this is an outstanding opportunity for serious collectors and budding Rhone enthusiasts alike to get some Guigal in their cellar. Cheers!